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Phillips 66 and Standard Oil Gas Stations – West Duluth Minnesota

Today’s lead image is an early-1960s view to the south looking down North Central Avenue at the intersection of the roadway and Grand Avenue located in West Duluth, Minnesota. On the far-left of the photo is Ray’s 66 Service and Three-Minute Car Wash. On the far-right of the picture is a Standard Oil gasoline station with one service bay. Also of interest is the car and truck traffic on both Avenues.

A recent street view of the intersection shows that everything has changed except the buildings on the left-hand side past the railroad tracks that used to cross North Central. Share with us what you find of interest in the photograph courtesy of the University of Minnesota.

23 responses to “Phillips 66 and Standard Oil Gas Stations – West Duluth Minnesota

  1. I see what might be a late 1930’s Ford sedan peeking out from behind Ray’s car wash. I don’t see either station has the price of gas posted? This looks like a good corner for a little gas war between the 2 stations. I can only identify one Chrysler product, the Dodge pick up. I would think they would have had a stronger position? Compared to today, very few pick up trucks. Looks like the road salt is eating up the 56 Chev. By the time most cars were 8-10 years old, they were pretty eaten up in these Northern cities where a lot of ice melting chemicals were used to keep the roads clear.

  2. i think the street view image (looking north) is wrong.
    the original photo is looking south. in fact, the white “standard” building on the right is still there (it is now “salon on grand”. the building is now red, but you compare the doors and windows, they are the same – even the garage door is still there).

      • The brightness of the day would seem to indicate that it is fairly early in the morning with the sun rising to the right (East) creating the long shadows going to the left (West) of everything. If all that is true, then we must be looking to the North.

  3. I don’t see snowbanks, so it must be July. Way back (in both pics) an IH R-190 pulling a reefer trailer, the “standard issue” CJ3 Jeep, parked in the back, waiting next winter, probably one of the wash jockies pickup truck , under the Hamm’s billboard ( and those “sky blue waters” probably weren’t very far away). Got to be old man Ray’s Caddy parked out front. I don’t think W. Duluth looks much different today.

  4. First pic has one of Harley Earl’s final design executions,a 58 Pontiac Star Chief hardtop. Final year also for that slanted “C” pillar which I always liked.

  5. I kind of wonder if the two stations right across the street from each other ever got into a price war. My father was part owner of a Gulf station in the sixties that was just a block down from a Sunoco station. I’m told that they once got into such a war, and the price dropped to 17 cents a gallon before they gave it up.

  6. Love photos from era shown. Appears to be early sixties. Phillips 66 had recently reimaged from orange and black to the red and white shown, and was in process of modernizing their architecture. I think that’s a ’61 Chevy coming toward us.

  7. This is the era I like photos from as well. Us older folks remember, but young people don’t have a clue what it was like years ago, with a filling station on nearly every corner! In my area of Omaha, we had a Skelly station right across from a Standard station; a Champlin Station next door to a Mobile, etc. There literally was no excuse not to find gas in those days! My, how times change….

    • It wasn’t just gas. When you had to top up the battery water three times a year, check your oil every couple hundred miles, adjust the brakes every thousand, grease the 34 grease points every 2,000 etc, etc, these little service stations provided the routine servicing that helped people keep their cars going.

  8. Gold Bond saving stamps!
    My mother saved those things for years. Finally filled 26 books and she traded them in for a 8mm movie projector.

  9. That old Ford coupe (52-53?) at the bottom is interesting. Its got roof racks screwed to the roof sheet metal and not clamped to the side drip moldings. These might be after-market, but more likely I would guess, they’re homemade. Those mirrors mounted to the fenders would seem unusual for this era. This vehicle looks to be adapted for real work, and you’d expect a trailer hitch, too, but I don’t see one.

  10. Notable under the Ray’s Phillips 66 signpost near the railroad crossing is a ’54 Lincoln hardtop next to a Jeep CJ with enclosed cab. Ray must have been doing well, his ’62 Cadillac six-window is parked prominently under the Car Wash sign.
    Another Cadillac, a ’60 four-window ‘flat roof’ is parked on the other side of the street next to the “East 2” route sign. A ’60 Olds and ’58 Ford are gassing up at the Standard station. The ’54 Ford parked next to the Standard signpost likely was the pump jockey’s car, not the station owner’s.

  11. Remember the old cold medicine commercial from the 60s?
    Guy gets into a cab in new York,tells the driver to take him to Duluth.
    Cabbie goes”Duluth Minnesotta?Im sorry .I cant take you there.Ive got a dentist appointment on Monday”
    The guy was so miserable from his cold that he felt the only place to have it would be in a miserable place like Duluth in the dead of winter

    • The odd thing is that Duluth is not all that cold compared to the Iron Range a few miles away. Lake Superior moderates the temps significantly in winter and summer! In Fact Mpls/ St Paul gets colder then Duluth!

  12. There is a 57 Dodge , a 57 Ford, and what looks like a 60 Plymouth parked behind the train tracks on the right. A 53 or 54 Plymouth sedan is just to the left of the Phillips 66 sign. The Dodge truck is a 61 to early 65 model, and has the rare optional rear bumper.

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